Best Affordable Sports Cars In 2021< Back to blog
It won’t be long before electric cars become the norm and the sight (and sound) of a great traditional sports car is obsolete. However, the good news is that there’s still time to enjoy the current sports car offering even if you’re on a budget.
Want to get a great deal on a fun-to-drive motor? Read on and discover the best affordable sports cars in 2021 that money can buy you.
1. Audi TT
The Audi TT was always a bit of a laughing stock of the sports car world in the first two generations of its life. At first it had plenty of style, but wasn’t fun to drive. Second time round, Audi decided to flip this and gave us a sports car and roadster that drove well but didn’t look the part.
The previous generations were much curvier and innocent-looking, whereas this newest model gets broader, angular lines. There’s also Audi’s new beefy hexagonal grille which allows the TT to assert itself on the road.
2. Mini Convertible Cooper S
Does anything scream more sports car than a convertible? If British summer allows it, popping the top of your punchy motor and feeling the wind blow through the cabin is all part of the thrill these models offer.
Is it any coincidence then that the Mini Convertible is the best-selling convertible in the UK?
Choose the sportier Cooper S trim level and the car comes with a perkier 2.0-lire petrol engine with 178bhp. It’s a quick engine too, accelerating from 0-60mph in a nippy 7.1 seconds when you have a manual gearbox, or 6.9 seconds if you select the smooth automatic gearbox.
Inside the Cooper S version of the Mini Convertible receives a bunch of racier upgrades that let you know you’re driving a sports car too. Dedicated sports seats and a sports steering wheel make driving on winding roads much more fun.
3. BMW Z4
BMW appears to have learned a lot since developing the two-seater Z4 convertible. For starters, in the latest range it’s ditched the MK2’s heavy metal roof which took away much of the simplistic, driver-centric fun of the first model.
There are more nods to the first BMW Z4 thanks to the brand focusing on creating a lightweight sports car. A new fabric hood has been added which helps retain the car’s keen handling, as does the standard power steering.
Engine choice is good in the Z4 too. There are two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines available from the off – a 194bhp version badged ’20i’ and a punchier 255bhp ’30i’ model, the latter of which delivers strong performance when you put your foot down (0-60mph takes 5 seconds).
All versions of the BMW Z4 model come with sporty rear-wheel drive which makes it much easier to get the power down for speed in a straight line.
If you’re after something which sounds more fruity and comes with blistering pace, we recommend looking at the range-topping M40i model. Instead of a four-cylinder engine there’s a 360bhp 3.0-litre straight-six unit that sends the car from 0-60mph in a mere 3.9 seconds.
4. Mazda MX-5
One of the most affordable, well-loved sports cars available in the market – the Mazda MX-5 can put a smile on even the most ardent driver’s face.
All MX-5 models come with rear-wheel drive and free-revving petrol engines. While they may not be the quickest units – the standard 1.5-litre version gets 132bhp and accelerates from 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds – they love to be driven enthusiastically.
Should you want a better turn of pace, there’s a bigger, more powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine with 184bhp that cuts acceleration time to 6.5 seconds. Bear in mind that it’s only available on the pricier Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech trims, however.
Nevertheless, you can still get the best-performing Mazda MX-5 for less than £300 per month* when you lease through Moneyshake.
*Prices accurate at the time of writing.
5. Kia Stinger
What could wet the appetite of a car fanatic more than a twin-turbo V6 engine and rear-wheel drive? Not much – and the Kia Stinger has both in its locker.
A huge 3.3-litre 361bhp engine will whip you up to 60mph in a very hasty 4.8 seconds. There’s little hesitation from turbo lag either when you start to gather pace.
From the outside the Stinger has a lot of styling cues that are bound to turn heads too. Four exhaust tailpipes jut out from the back too and provide a modest engine note which we think could be a bit more fruitier.
Even if the car doesn’t sound electrifying, there are plenty of features onboard that do the talking instead. For example, the premium 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system will pump out your driving music with crisp-sounding audio.
In typical Kia fashion, the Stinger manages to be a very tech-savvy model at the same time as being a driver’s car. For example, as standard the car comes with a customisable head-up display, a wireless smartphone charger and adaptive dampers which allow you to adjust the car’s setup for a sporty or comfortable drive.
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